About Us

Who We Are

The Mallarmé Chamber Players are a flexible ensemble of professional musicians based in Durham, North Carolina, whose mission is to enrich the lives of the community through outstanding chamber music performance. The ensemble distinguishes itself in the community by its innovative educational programs, its commitment to creative collaboration with other organizations, its creation of significant new work and its dedication to serve a diverse population.

Created in 1984 by musicians Jane Hawkins and Anna Ludwig Wilson working with poet and arts administrator Margaret DeMott, the ensemble’s name comes from Stéphane Mallarmé, the 19th-century French poet and philosopher who believed that true art is created through a unity of music, dance, literature and the visual arts. In keeping with their namesake, Mallarmé performances are often interdisciplinary and have been praised by critics and audiences as innovative, eclectic and of the highest artistic quality.

With the most gifted artists from North Carolina Mallarmé Chamber Players perform programs that include rarely heard works from the traditional chamber music repertoire that celebrate the diversity in our community by featuring the music of African American, Asian, Latino and women composers. Mallarmé has commissioned over 35 new works by American composers. They have created new contours in the landscape of chamber music through partnerships with artists of many different disciplines. Through their eclectic education programs they have developed a new model for community-based arts organizations.

For Mallarmé’s 25th anniversary season in 2008-09, Suzanne Rousso, violist and former orchestra administrator, took the helm as the new artistic director of the ensemble. 2019-20 is Mallarmé’s 36th year!

2019-20 Board of Directors and Staff

Nancy Clapp-Channing, co-chair
Florence Nash, co-chair
Ruth Cox
Kim Demery
Celia Dickerson, treasurer
Michael Fisher
Jeanetta Hopkins
Jacqueline Nappi, secretary
Tony Sprinkle
Baron Tymas
Suzanne Rousso, artistic director, suzanne at mallarmemusic.org
Mickaella Guarascio, operations manager, mickaella at mallarmemusic.org

Featured Artist

Jennnifer Curtis violin

Michael Burns - bassoon (Ode to Joy - Episode 3)
As an active performer, Michael Burns enjoys roles as a soloist, in chamber groups, and orchestrally...

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...with numerous recent performances at International Double Reed Society conventions, recitals and masterclasses throughout North America, Germany, Italy, China and the South Pacific. He performs as principal bassoon with the Asheville Symphony and the North Carolina Opera and as bassoonist in the EastWind Ensemble and Blue Mountain Forecast.

He also performs regularly with regional groups such as the Greensboro, Charlotte, and North Carolina Symphonies and as a guest with the Ciompi Quartet and Mallarmé Chamber Players.

He has recorded for the Centaur, CAP, Telarc, EMI, Klavier, and Mark labels and his solo CD Primavera: Music for Bassoon and Piano by Bassoonists, was released to critical acclaim on the Mark Masters label. A new CD Glass Ghosts is scheduled for release in 2020.

He performed extensively with the Cincinnati and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and he held Principal positions with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Midland/Odessa, Richmond, and Abilene Symphonies.

Burns plays on a Moosmann 222CL 5SC Thin Wall bassoon.

Burns' primary position is as Professor of bassoon at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In summers, he has been associated with several Festivals including the Clazz International Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy, Eastern Music Festival, The Summer Bassoon Extravaganza, Music for All/Bands of America Summer Symposium, the Affetti Festival, New England Music Camp and the Bocal Majority and Operation O.B.O.E.

Prior to accepting the position at UNCG, he also taught at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Indiana State University and Midland College.